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Talking to God by MarkRaats Talking to God by MarkRaats
This past weekend Australia paused to remember their fallen during ANZAC day. Its simply impossible to justify war at the best of times but for me its rewarding to see so many people quietly reflecting on history's terrible events and acknowledging those who paid the ultimate sacrifice...

I dragged out the old box of photos and drew this 18 year old boy as he sat in the wind, surrounded by the hardware of war. He is reading the little red bible they gave us, valiantly trying to find strength in talking with God.

I often wish that we as a people would learn from the pain of the past, but it seems that we just never learn....

Prismacolor grey on white acid-free paper
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:iconjohnnybigoud:
JohnnyBigoud Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Feel like hearing a Gibson guitar weeping and the voice of Knopfler... This is really a graphic translation of this magical piece of music, to my mind. Maybe a matter of firstname, i don't know...^^
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2014
Thanks very much Johnny a GREAT compliment mate!

I appreciate you taking to time to write that.

All the best
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:icontomatata:
TOMATATA Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011
cool painting
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2011
Thanks Rubens. I'm glad you like it!
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:iconpetitemuse:
Petitemuse Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2011  Student Filmographer
Very deep! I love this!
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2011
Cheers Petitemuse.. Its a personal piece and I'm really glad you like it.
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:iconsusysann:
susysann Featured By Owner May 18, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
One day would love to draw like you, I hopefully still in this century ..

what can I say ... I have no words ...just beautiful...wow!

humbly ask, when you have time to kill and donīt mind seeing very bad work...
take a look at my gallery and critique at will, please! :)
[link]
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner May 20, 2011
LOL.. many thanks, I'm delighted you like the work.

I've taken a look through your gallery and you have some terrific work there - different and beautifully executed. Your piece Sunset Colors, is especially well done and I like the fact that you don't just copy others styles and techniques.

Thank you for sharing your work and I wish you every success…. :D
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:iconsusysann:
susysann Featured By Owner May 23, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thankīs so much for taking the time to see my work, and for the comment.
That technique gave me a lot of work to develop.

Seeing your work is mostly a moment of inspiration. I just need to simply go through your gallery, to remind me, when needed, of why I am fighting to be able to live from what I most love to do.

Thank`s :)
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:icondosvidanjia:
dosvidanjia Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2011
This is very touching, Mark. My father was a corporal in the Rhodesian Light Infantry and I myself am here in Afghanistan; he used to tell me, and I believe he's paraphrasing Patton here, but: "Any soldier worth a damn is a pacifist." I think you captured that beautifully.
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2011
Thanks Colby for a very thoughtful comment.

Interesting to know you are descended from good RLI stock and even more interesting to know you're in Afghanistan - like father, like son… I guess its vaguely possible that I met your dad someplace since I'm a 12 year veteran of the African bush war myself. His comment sounds typical of the rugged Rhodesian troops - cheers for sharing..

I saw that scene acted out many times over the years and I always found it moving to see the young men reading out of their red bibles before we set off. I'm glad you found it appealing…

Keep your head down bud and best wishes to you and your team...
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:icondosvidanjia:
dosvidanjia Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2011
Mark, Dad is a bit less shaken up than the average American Viet-nam vet and had a few stories to tell us kids - think there's something cultural there, not sure - I was raised in Boston suburbs, not the bush like him. An RTO and MAG gunner (ironic, since I am a 240b gunner - thirty years later and on a different continent, I lug the same weapon) I know he was pinned full corporal by Ron Reid-Daly who was RSM at the time and stayed with the RLI until they became a parachute (airborne to my generation) unit in, I want to say, '77. But to hear him tell it they never felt like the fathers of modern tactics on fighting insurgencies, rather a "lost bunch of kids trying to get drunk, hunt game, and kill terrs" as he put it one time.

He spoke very highly of all the South African troops that came to help out, only slightly disparaging the police they were working under at the start of the war and I think at that they were all "slightly obese" Rhodesians.

I appreciate your kind words regarding me and mine - we are trying to do the right thing over here. You know how hard that can be, especially given the media's (and history's) treatment of the Bush War - not too many kids these days know that Zimbabwe wasn't always called that. 12 years is a long time, Mark - I look at two separate 12 month deployments throughout the course of an enlistment as a drag; don't know you guys did it.
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2011
I agree that there IS a cultural difference in the way the US deals with the problem of post war issues and the way it was dealt with in Rhodesia and for that matter South Africa. From my perspective there are huge similarities between the Vietnam conflict and the bush war with the only difference being that at least the US has generally recognised (at long last) the Vets from Vietnam whereas there will never be recognition for the Rhodesian Troop or the ex-SADF Troep…

Your Dad's the real deal and I have to agree with his assessment of them being "lost bunch of kids trying to get drunk, hunt game, and kill terrs" - he's absolutely right! Our guys were better equipped and certainly better supported (with money for arms), but we were all very young, scared shitless and with absolutely no idea what was going to happen - sound familiar?? The irony is that we were taught to find and kill total strangers but in the early years we were often too young to legally drive a car or drink in a pub, so killing someone if fine but we couldn't drive!

War stays the same and its interesting to hear that you are lugging heavy! I always thought the MAG was a spectacularly good weapon and in a way you are carrying with you a little more of your Dad around with you…

The time spent?? well, as you know, its just a case of putting your head down and getting on with the job - we all (you and us), just get on and do it!

You guys are doing a tough job to be sure Colby and tiny part of me wishes I was there as well..

Be safe mate...
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:iconlekaizer:
LeKaizer Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
***exellent travail***
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2010
Thank you very much kaiser!
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:iconlekaizer:
LeKaizer Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
u r welcome sir!!!!
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:iconartlovr59:
artlovr59 Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2010   Photographer
Another heart-breaker! R-4 and a MAG LMG. Not as those can ever been forgotten. I did a lot of stuff for the SA Legion now during Remembrance Day (and into the future) and slowly we're seeing real reconciliation between "us" and "them". But it will be slow...
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:iconan-insomniac:
An-Insomniac Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2010
I really love this picture! Especially the style you used to draw it with all of the lines. Very well done!
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2010
Thanks very much Katie --

I'm delighted it works for you. Many thanks for the support.
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:iconmold3531:
mold3531 Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Great!
Is a lively work
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:iconpingchowchi:
PingChowChi Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2010
thats great work - its soooo beautifully done!
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2010
Thank you very much Ping! :)
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:iconf4zero:
F4Zero Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2009
Wow, your work is very inspiring.
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2009
Cheers Ethan. I'm honored to think my work can inspire others. Many thanks for taking the time to comment.
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:iconsedeslav:
Sedeslav Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2009
Excellent drawing. for me full of emotions. That boy can be me when i was in a war back in 90's. I was a croatian volunteer soldier.
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2009
Thank you very much for your kind words Sedeslav.

I appreciate the support from a brother veteran!
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:iconsedeslav:
Sedeslav Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2009
Keep yor boots dry, bro! :)
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:iconiherrero20:
iherrero20 Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2009   Traditional Artist
It's a good drawing. You're a very good technique.
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2009
Thank you very much Irene!
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:iconiherrero20:
iherrero20 Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2009   Traditional Artist
Thank you to you.
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:iconnoeland:
Noeland Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2009
This reminds me of my oldest brother Harry, who joined the marines and fought in Vietnam instead of becoming a priest. To this day he's haunted by the war, and also still very devote.
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2009
Cheers for putting a positive spin on this story mate.

This played out so often before we were deployed. The irony for me was the humble troop wrapped up in his discussion with God but surrounded by the hardware of war.

I often wondered who God listened to.. Was it us or did the enemy pray to Him as hard - thus creating a choice quandary for Him.
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:iconancalagan:
Ancalagan Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
im turkish and i salute all my australian brothers.

we had a honorable war!

galippoli will never be forgotten


not sure the pic is related to ww1 or ww2 ^^
according to weapons its ww2


anyway the art is brilliant again:D
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2009
Thank you Onur my brother!!

I appreciate your written dedication to the Aussie soldier. It goes without saying that spirit of the Turkish soldier is held high by Australians and its good to see that out of the most senseless deaths, friendship can grow.

Cheers for your comment on this piece. Actually I didn't ever serve with the Australians, I did 12 years in various African wars and although this drawing is new the scene is from 1983 and the weapons are from that time.

Peace to you my mate!
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:iconfalcofan22:
Falcofan22 Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2008
Never forget.
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2008
Thank you Aussie Tamara!

Amen
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:iconatomic-hermit:
Atomic-Hermit Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Nice Pencil work...
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2008
Cheers mate!
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:iconseiya13:
seiya13 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2008
wonderfull!!! i love the pose!
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:iconfatius:
Fatius Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2008
did someone ever teach you to draw? or do you try to use the style of another artist you admire? you must be incredibly patient to draw like that!
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2008
Cheers Haydn mate.. Well, I guess at school I did get some direction and again at collage, but while I have always tried to draw the way I am most comfortable, is fair to say I got inspiration from everyone from Michaelangelo to Walt Disney...

The trick is to look, observe and learn from absolutely anybody...
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:iconfatius:
Fatius Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2008
Fair enough, I just noticed that matched very well with your little quote!
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:iconricardobs:
ricardobs Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2008
oh my god....that is PERFECT
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2008
Thank you Ricardo!
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:iconarallsopp:
arallsopp Featured By Owner May 23, 2008
What a fantastic piece. Masterfully crafted too.
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner May 29, 2008
Thanks Andy. Personal issues always tend to work the best...

Cheers mate
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:iconper-svanstrom:
Per-Svanstrom Featured By Owner May 17, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome work! I like the sketchy look! Very clean though :)
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:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner May 17, 2008
Cheers for the kind comment. Since I regard you as one of the top pencil artists on DA, I regard your comment as coming from a high place indeed.
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:iconper-svanstrom:
Per-Svanstrom Featured By Owner May 20, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You are too kind sir! :bow:

I feel the same about you!
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:icontonydennison:
TonyDennison Featured By Owner May 6, 2008
Well said.

In spite of my contempt for war I still see (to a modest degree in the light of current events) a nobility in the soldier; the "warrior".

Great piece and as always I'm left shaking my head —stupefied by your virtuosity.

best
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